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NFL picks Week 17: Ravens need Dolphins, Chargers losses to keep playoff hopes alive

Here's Baltimore Beatdown's NFL picks for Week 17.

The Ravens will hope Dannell Ellerbe's new team loses this week.
The Ravens will hope Dannell Ellerbe's new team loses this week.
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sport

Carolina Panthers (-6.5) at Atlanta Falcons

Luke Kuechly and the Panthers' defense should be able to shut down their division rival and wrap up the NFC South this week. How many of you thought the Panthers would be in this position back in August? Prediction: Panthers 27, Falcons 13

Houston Texans at Tennessee Titans (-7)

The Texans will be relieved when their season is over. The Titans are somewhat in the same boat as they'll now decide what to do with Mike Munchak. Oh, Titans win a game no one will really watch. Prediction: Titans 21, Texans 16

Cleveland Browns at Pittsburgh Steelers (-7)

Pittsburgh still has an outside shot to reach the playoffs. Cleveland, which began the first month of the year looking like the best team in the AFC North, slid back to its common position in the division. Prediction: Steelers 28, Browns 14

Washington Redskins at New York Giants (-3.5)

The Redskins' defense played inspired against the Cowboys for most of the game. But it let Tony Romo perform some heroics late. Can the Redskins end their miserable season on a high note? Prediction: Redskins 27, Giants 23

Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts (-11.5)

The Colts looked impressive against the Chiefs last week and will look to ride that momentum into the playoffs. Look for a blowout win over the Jags. Prediction: Colts 41, Jaguars 20

New York Jets at Miami Dolphins (-6.5)

The Ravens need the Jets to win bad. But can they on the road? The Jets are 1-6 away from home and lost to the Dolphins 23-3 at MetLife Stadium earlier this year. All signs point to a Miami win. Prediction: Dolphins 26, Jets 23

Detroit Lions at Minnesota Vikings (-3)

The Lions are a joke. There, I said it. For all the talent it has, the team is a disaster. What a choke job. But what else do you expect from Detroit? Hey, maybe Jim Schwartz could be Baltimore's next offensive coordinator. (Meh.) Prediction: Vikings 31, Lions 20

Buffalo Bills at New England Patriots (-9)

The Patriots will be playing for a potential 1-seed, though don't count on the Raiders upsetting the Broncos. Either way, expect New England's best Sunday afternoon. Prediction: Patriots 42, Bills 17

Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears (off)

Another week where we must wait to find out about Aaron Rodgers and his status. As much as I'm a fan of Marc Trestman and what he's done for Chicago's offense, the run defense has been horrible. Eddie Lacy should have a field day against the Bears. Prediction, regardless if Rodgers plays or not: Packers 27, Bears 21

Tampa Bay Buccaneers at New Orleans Saints (-12.5)

After a horrible start, the Bucs were able to rally off some wins to save face this season. But you still have to wonder about Greg Schiano's status following the year. Oh yeah, the Saints should crush since the game's at home. Prediction: Saints 34, Buccaneers 17

Denver Broncos (-12.5) at Oakland Raiders

The Broncos will be playing at the same time as the Patriots, so neither team will know what happened to the other. Therefore, expect the expected. Denver should win big. Prediction: Broncos 45, Raiders 13

San Francisco 49ers (-1) at Arizona Cardinals

The Cardinals might be the hottest team in the NFL that no one is talking about. They've won seven of their last eight and just beat Seattle. The 49ers could be in big trouble this week. And what's unfortunate is that if Arizona wins and New Orleans doesn't lose, the would-be 11-5 Cardinals will miss the postseason. Prediction: Cardinals 21, 49ers 17

Kansas City Chiefs at San Diego Chargers (-9.5)

This is another game of interest for the Ravens and it doesn't look good for the purple and black. Kansas City figures to rest its starters since it can't improve or drop from the fifth seed. San Diego needs a win and is set up to get one. Prediction: Chargers 31, Chiefs 21

St. Louis Rams at Seattle Seahawks (-10.5)

The Seahawks will look to clinch home-field playoffs in front of the 12th Man crowd. Look for them to rebound from last week's loss to Arizona. Prediction: Seahawks 37, Rams 17

Philadelphia Eagles (-7) at Dallas Cowboys

The Eagles have improved over the second half of the NFL season and are playing a distraction-filled Dallas team that is expected to be without Tony Romo this Sunday. It's hard to go against the Eagles on this one. Prediction: Eagles 34, Cowboys 24